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Old 12-24-2012, 05:52 AM   #16
El Pescador OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kommando View Post
You didn't state height/weight/inseam.
I'm really average...5'10, 190 lbs, 31 inch inseam
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:56 AM   #17
Jim Moore
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I'd buy a brand-new Triumph 675R. Then I'd take it to a track day. Then I'd crash it in the first ten minutes because I'm a ham-fisted goon. Then I'd sit in the grass, weeping silently next to my newly-destroyed motorcycle.

That's what I would do. If I were you I'd look at a BMW R1100GS from 98 or 99, or an R1200GS from 2008 on. They're fun, do-it-all bikes that are easy to maintain if you're into tinkering. Then you'd have money left over to buy a used 675R, take it to a track day, crash ... oh, never mind that part.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:03 AM   #18
BanjoBoy
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Ténéré?
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:06 AM   #19
2000RSV
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You mentioned learning needing some wrenching skills as one of the reasons for the Harley. Therefore, I am going to assume you are still not a strong wrench (no offense, just an assumption for the following).

1) If you are wanting to do some longer trips, you need a bike that will be reliable and be able to be fixed on the road. The best dealership network in the US is HD. Followed by the Japanese brands Yamakawasuzda. Just about any town that has a car dealer will have one of these. Following that would be BMW (1 or 2 dealers per state in most) and then the exotics - Triumph, Ducati, KTM, etc.

2) Pounding around within a day's ride of Houston, go with what stirs your soul. At worst, you will loose a day and not a whole vacation.

3) The best advice from above - Be a serial bike purchaser until you find one (or two) that really fits. Kind of how you found a wife.

Enjoy.

J
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:17 AM   #20
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I live in the same area as you, Houston. Only I am up by the Woodlands.

I would look at an FZ1, Tuono, or an 800xc. Leaning more towards an FZ.
IIRC they run about 6-7K for a really good used one. Spend a grand on luggage and racks from SW Motech.

Use the rest for something wiff knobbies, and a set of sumo wheels.
Unless you are pretty good with a wrench, stay away from KTM. No, not a KTM bashing post. They are most fun bikes I have rode, but they require more attention than the rest. Anything high strung is high maint.. I like the big bore EX models. One of the best, if not the best, D/S bikes on the market. Since we are in TX, you can plate just about anything. This tosses in the WR and YZ from Yammy. Both fun bikes too. You can get both of these used for around 4k or so, and another few hundred getting them street legal.

This is basically 4 bikes. You get a sporty bike for 3090, the long range travel bike with full luggage, a Houston Forest bike and a fun sumo. Can ask for a better setup than that.

You would probably still have $ left over for add-ons and camping gear.

One more thing, I am local so I can help you out if you need it. Show you some good spots to ride.....dirt AND paved. Just shoot me a PM if you care.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:21 AM   #21
waxrash
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A few years back I sold the Harley for similar reasons. No offense to those guys, but slow, noisy, handles like a tractor, and limited to about 150 miles per day (unless you buy touring class). A well made machine though.

I first picked up a dl1000 vstrom. That was a big improvement, but the bike over powers the suspension and brakes. The Dl650 would have been a better choice. I know several who have ridden these all over the country. They have a huge following, check out stromtrooper.com.

I then picked up a BMW r1200rt. Whoa! Now 600 mile days are comfortable and this thing is on rails in the twisties. This is THE bike for me.

I then picked up a Kawasaki versys. Well balanced, excellent in the twisties. My son has ridden the versys on several 4000 mile weeks and it does well. An awesome machine for a 650 standard.

I also picked up an r1150rt for friends and family to join in our longer days. An amazing machine for $6000 used.

Certainly my requirements are different than yours but if you have any questions about those, let me know.

One thing to consider is maintenance. The Bmw's and Harley run about the same on the higher end. BMW maybe a tad higher, but mostly due to the fact that I went from 3000 miles per year to around 10000. Seems higher, but mostly just tires. The versys is at the lower end. I have done it all myself, if you can change oil, chains, and remove your wheels for tire changes, it is really cheap.
Lastly, how long does it last. The BMWs exceed 100,000 miles with many on the road at 200,000.
I have had no issues with my versys, but I am guessing its life is around 60,000.

A recent article in MCN, the reviewer said if you can only have one bike it would be a bmw r1200gs.
I would agree with that. 600 miles per day on the blacktop. Fun on fire roads, etc. However, if your definition of adventure bike is more off road than on, I would go klr650.

Just my humble experiences.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:28 AM   #22
idahoskiguy
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You may want to look at the KTM 690.

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Old 12-24-2012, 06:58 AM   #23
El Pescador OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000RSV View Post
You mentioned learning needing some wrenching skills as one of the reasons for the Harley. Therefore, I am going to assume you are still not a strong wrench (no offense, just an assumption for the following).

1) If you are wanting to do some longer trips, you need a bike that will be reliable and be able to be fixed on the road. The best dealership network in the US is HD. Followed by the Japanese brands Yamakawasuzda. Just about any town that has a car dealer will have one of these. Following that would be BMW (1 or 2 dealers per state in most) and then the exotics - Triumph, Ducati, KTM, etc.

2) Pounding around within a day's ride of Houston, go with what stirs your soul. At worst, you will loose a day and not a whole vacation.

3) The best advice from above - Be a serial bike purchaser until you find one (or two) that really fits. Kind of how you found a wife.

Enjoy.

J

It's true. I am not strong with bikes,but I've found that with a good service manual and YouTube, there isn't much you can't figure out. I did upgrade the tensioners on the Harley to hydraulic and replaced the cams while I was at it. That is in addition to routine maintenance.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:28 AM   #24
Seth650
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Bluhduh basics

'13 CRF250L (new).................$4.5k
(may be too small), or
'09 WR250R (stock, < 5k mi)
protective gear...........................5
'09 DR650se (stock <5k mi.) ......4.0
tools & manuals .........................5
gas, maint supplies,
days-off to ride, trip-expenses.. 5.5

Seth650 screwed with this post 12-24-2012 at 07:38 AM Reason: blah
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:49 AM   #25
slartidbartfast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pescador View Post
This brings up a really good point. I don't necessarily*WANT to spend all $15k. I am new to motorcycling and I certainly wouldn't maximize the potential of a race-bred bike like a ducati. Why pay for it?
Not sure you're really that much of a "noob" compared to many. Multistrada I suggested is a very versatile open-class touring and general purpose bike with 150mph sport-bike-humbling potential you could grow into. Still, they can be finnicky and tricky to work on (although the multistrada is pretty easy to live with by Ducati standards) so if you don't have a good dealer or experienced tech nearby, that might be a consideration. There's plenty of other good all-round bikes out there if you don't think you're a Ducati guy.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:50 AM   #26
Seth650
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boo

bikes for starters with mechanical know-how?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/SUZUK...orcev4exp=true


http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1990-...orcev4exp=true
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:59 AM   #27
Kommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pescador View Post
I'm really average...5'10, 190 lbs, 31 inch inseam
A DR650SE or a Tiger 800XC can fit you well. You'd definitely want to try a few different bikes before buying though, as different people can have very different preferences.

The Tiger 800XC would be a good choice for getting across the continent and then exploring places like the Tuweap overlook near Grand Canyon, or Big Bend, via dirt. It's a nice-riding bike with a sweet motor...a lot of fun. It can just be a bit more complicated to troubleshoot if something goes wrong in BFE. Get a good roadside plan. The AMA has one for EVERY vehicle you own for like $30-$40/yr.

The DR650SE is much simpler and can be had for MUCH less $$. It runs slab pretty well for a thumper, but it IS still a thumper. I've ridden from Tyler TX to Melbourne FL in a day on mine, and got off the exit ramp with a grin on my face, so it'll do long distances. It just won't do long distances across west TX at 90MPH as easily as a Tiger 800XC would. The DR is the bike I would get for riding the world though, as 70-80MPH cruising speed is quite enough in most other places, with short blasts up to about 100MPH, and it's a fun bike even at sane speeds. Among many other things, mine has a better seat, better suspension, throttle lock, 5gal tank, touring pegs, lowered rider pegs, lowered passenger pegs (to put my feet back), and lightweight luggage that can haul the kitchen sink. All of these mods were extremely easy to do to this bike, and it travels MUCH better than stock. I like it considerably more on the slab than my streetbike now. The air/oil cooling seems to work better in the southern heat than water-cooling or air-cooling. The DR is crashable like a dirtbike, it rides like a cushy overweight dirtbike in the dirt, and I can pick it up by myself without a problem. Parts are easy to come by, as the bike hasn't really changed since 1996. The aftermarket can help you build it from mild to wild as your skills evolve. 50+WHP isn't hard to come by, and the engine is pretty smooth at 80MPH for a thumper.

Shop used and you could probably get both for less than $15K. If you get something like a used DR first though, you may find that it's quite enough for what you want to do once you uncork it and farkle it a bit. The stock carbing usually sucks, compared to what it can be like. I've seen DRs go in decent shape for $1000, but good ones usually run at least $2500, with $4000 being about as much as I'd pay for a used one. New ones aren't much more expensive, relatively, and Suzuki keeps offering 0% financing with good credit. There's no reason to pay a lot for a DR. It's a great exploring bike, so don't expect it to be a race bike, even if people HAVE ridden it in the Baja 1000 or in enduros. It's designed to be a bit more mellow...stop and enjoy the view, then hooligan a little.

Kommando screwed with this post 12-24-2012 at 08:04 AM
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:57 AM   #28
ricmachado
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I enjoy to trade bikes every few years, if I had 15K to spare and had to spend on bikes, this would be my lineup:

Buell Ulysses (07 - 08) maybe 6K
Ural Patrol (05 - 07) 6K
KLR650 (05 - 07) 3K

Buell for long distance touring, Ural for the groceries day and take kid to ride with me (I have no car) and KLR for daily commute, beat down bike.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:27 AM   #29
rodhersh
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Why not keep your Harley for the street and get a dirt bike as a compliment?
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:46 AM   #30
dmason
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For me?

$4k Used Kawasaki Versys
$4k Used Suzuki GSX-R600 Track Bike
$7k+ Gear, Track Days, Rider Training

This is what I did. Doesn't sound like you're interested in track days but plan on budgeting SOMETHING for some good rider training.
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